Mall offers cut-price bus tickets to attract shoppers from Shenzhen

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 January, 2011, 12:00am

The Hollywood Plaza in Diamond Hill has joined a mainland group buying website and a travel agency to offer return cross-border bus tickets for as cheap as 10 yuan (HK$11.80) in order to bring in mainland spenders.

'The market for individual visitors from the mainland is huge and it's a good time to seize the opportunity and let them know there're large malls in other areas of Hong Kong,' said Candy Lo Hang-yee, a promotions and advertising manager at Hollywood Plaza.

In view of the latest online group-buying fad on the mainland, commonly known as tuan gou, bus tickets for trips between the shopping centre and Guangzhou will be offered on QQ Group Buy's website on Monday.

Buyers will also be given gifts and discount coupons worth more than HK$600.

Lo expects the tickets - originally priced at 80 yuan and provided by travel agency Eternal East Group - would all go within three hours of the launch.

'We're planning to launch such offers once every two months, meaning about five to six times per year.' she said. 'We will invest about HK$3 million in this promotion and it is expected to bring in HK$120 million in sales revenue.'

Mainland shoppers spent about HK$5,000 to HK$8,000 per person at the mall, she said. About 8 per cent to 10 per cent of mall shoppers last year were mainlanders.

She estimated that the ticket promotion would push percentages up by two points, meaning the mall would receive more than one million mainland visitors this year.

It is the first time QQ Group Buy has launched a product or service outside the mainland. The website also plans to offer products such as movie tickets, cosmetics and electronic communication appliances from Hong Kong.

'Group purchasing is already very popular on the mainland. If there is a good bargain, mainlanders don't mind coming from somewhere a bit far away,' said Eddy Wong Pak-wing, of the website's agency in Hong Kong.

Group buying means consumers obtain a better discount from the vendor if they buy in bulk. If a certain number of people sign up for an offer, the deal becomes available to all. If the predetermined minimum is not met, no one gets the deal.

Shenzhen resident Irene Lai Yen-fen, 28, on a shopping trip at the mall yesterday, said the appreciation of the yuan and rising inflation on the mainland had prompted her to shop in Hong Kong more often.

Lai said she spent about HK$3,000 to HK$4,000 each time she came to Hong Kong.

She would shop for cosmetics, clothes or food, as some items here were about 10 per cent cheaper than those in Shenzhen.